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Arrest of hundreds of illegal Chinese proof gov’t serious against illegal gambling

Komfie Manalo

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Gaming regulator Philippine Amusemenet and Gaming Corporation lauded the Las Pinas police for arresting more than 200 Chinese nationals involved in illegal gambling operations.

The recent arrest of 265 Chinese nationals involved in an illegal offshore gaming operation in Las Pinas City is proof that the government is serious in its fight against criminals who violate the country’s laws as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) lauded the police operation for the arrest.

PAGCOR cited its intensified efforts to crackdown non-registered offshore gaming operators (NOGOs) resulted to another successful drive against illegal gambling operations just weeks after a similar facility was discovered in Makati City.

According to PAGCOR AVP for Offshore Gaming Licensing Department Atty. Jose Tria, Jr., it becomes easy for them to trace illegal offshore gaming operators since only several Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) sites will be given the greenlight to partially resume operations “subject to strict conditions”.

“These NOGOs are unaware that POGOs which will resume operations will undergo thorough evaluation and inspection from PAGCOR. So we know which specific sites will be allowed to resume operations. Consequently, NOGOs right now are easily identifiable since not all POGO sites will resume operations,” Tria said.

Apart from implementing rules to effectively regulate POGO operations in the country, PAGCOR has been working closely with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Office of Cybercrime (OOC) under the Department of Justice (DOJ) to curb illegal gambling operations.

The said agencies formed a Task Force that will handle intelligence gathering on illegal online gambling, centralized information sharing, intelligence operations, surveillance, raids, arrest and prosecution of illegal online gaming activities.

In the discharge of its vital functions in the Task Force, PAGCOR validates licenses, provides business, tax and other information on record to help arrest and penalize illegal gambling operators in the country.

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